DeFuniak Springs man allegedly grabbed child. Why won't he face kidnapping charge?
DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — A 26-year-old man is in custody after a mother reported that he grabbed her 4-year-old child inside of a retail store Tuesday.
The mother was able to free her child while screaming at the man and immediately called 911 to report the incident, which occurred about 2 p.m., according to a DeFuniak Springs Police Department news release.
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“The mother’s quick response is what kept this from becoming a potentially bad incident,” said Police Chief James Hurley. “We can’t stress enough to be aware of your surroundings and ready to take action in cases like this one. The mother did just what she was supposed to do.”
The suspect reportedly ran off, but was located by officers almost immediately in a nearby automotive parts store. Police identified the suspect as Otto Reginaldo Xol-Xol of DeFuniak Springs.
According to reports, Xol-Xol was intoxicated at the time of the incident. A Walton County sheriff’s deputy spoke to Xol-Xol, who reportedly said he grabbed the child because he liked him.
Xol-Xol was arrested and taken to the Walton County Jail, where he was booked on charges of child abuse and disorderly intoxication. He is being held on a $250,000 bond, according to jail records.
In response to numerous questions on social media, DeFuniak Springs police said the elements for the charge of kidnapping did not exist in this instance.
Florida defines the crime of kidnapping as the confinement, abduction or imprisonment of another person against his or her will.
The kidnapping must be committed “forcibly, secretly, or by threat” and without lawful authority. When a battery or “unwanted touch” is committed on a child it is considered child abuse per Florida State Statute and is a third-degree felony.